Friday, August 3, 2012

Denny Hamlin performs double-duty at Pocono

Denny Hamlin will try to get KBM its
first Truck Series win at Pocono.
Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Denny Hamlin will be hard at work this weekend as he will drive the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) Toyota in Saturday’s Pocono Mountains 125 in addition to the Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday.

The KBM Toyota has yet to visit victory lane at Pocono. In the last two races at the track the team finished second in both events – Kasey Kahne in 2010 and Busch last year.

Now Busch will look at Hamlin to bring the team their first win at the “Tricky Triangle.” Four of Hamlin’s 19 Sprint Cup career wins have come at Pocono.

Hamlin will also drive the No. 11 FedEx Toyota in Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400 Sprint Cup Series event. While Hamlin has experience driving on the repaved 2.5-mile triangle surface in the June Sprint Cup race, the driver has participated in just 13 Truck Series events.

Hamlin’s Truck Series career run includes one win (Martinsville in October) as well as three top fives and seven top-10 finishes. He finished ninth in his last Truck Series run at Pocono in 2010.

"It's going to be a whole lot of throttle, that's for sure," Hamlin said. "After running the Cup car there, running the trucks is going to be a totally different experience. Obviously, the draft is going to be a huge factor. With the new pavement, there's going to be a lot of fast speeds and a lot of passing down the front straightaway."

Although Hamlin will be running double-duty, he assures that his appearance in the Truck Series will not get in the way of his focusing on his regular series.

"You obviously want to dedicate a little more time to the Cup series because that is the bread-and-butter of your program," Hamlin said. "We're really racing the truck race to have fun and try to get a win. The Cup car is where we shift our focus, but the way the schedule is pretty spread out during the weekend, there's really no conflicts that are going to keep you from spending the time that you need with your crew chief."

Hamlin has two victories in the Sprint Cup Series this season – one at Phoenix and one at Kansas. The driver also has nine top-five finishes and 11 top 10s and is currently fifth in the standings.


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